Types of Vinyl- What kind of Vinyl do I need for my Project?

I get so many questions about what type of vinyl is used for a certain project! Now I’ll write about the different kinds of vinyl and so you can plan your next project!

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First, my favorite place to buy vinyl when I can’t wait for shipping is Joann Fabric! It’s my favorite because I can check on the app what color they have before I get to the store. I really love that they have a pick up option! It is so quick and easy! I’ve been so happy every time I have picked up my order. The vinyl isle can be overwhelming, and pick up keeps you from accidently getting the wrong thing.
Skip the Shipping! Buy Online & Pick Up In-Store at JOANN!

Types of Vinyl

The different kids of vinyl are Adhesive vinyl and Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV). There are also a lot of specilty vinyl that I will list to.

Adhesive Vinyl

Adhesive vinyl is used on:

  •  Wood signs
  •  Mugs/cups (not dishwasher safe)
  •  Glass (car windows)
  •  Walls
  •  Hard surfaces

Adhesive vinyl comes in permanent (651) that can be used outside, and in a less permanent (631) that is best for inside. If you are looking to put vinyl directly on walls, you’ll definitely need 631! For everything else, I use 651/permanent vinyl.

When you’re using adhesive vinyl, you’ll need to buy transfer tape/paper to get the vinyl off the backing and on to the surface you are putting it on. Some people also use clear contact paper or masking tape. It all works, but I think transfer tape works the best.

A cool thing about adhesive vinyl is that you can also use it as a paint stencil! I will use it as a stencil if I need a special color or when I etch glass post here and here.

When you cut adhesive vinyl, you cut through the top colored layer of the vinyl, weed out the portion of the vinyl you want to show the design. Then you put the transfer tape over the top, peel the vinyl off the backing and stick it to the surface you want.

You can get adhesive vinyl in special prints, matte, gloss, metallic, glitter, chalkboard, white board, and colored glass. There are so many options that your craft dreams can come true!

Heat Transfer Vinyl

Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) is used on:

  •  Tshirts
  •  Hats
  •  Bags
  •  Towels
  •  Fabric items

HTV can be tricky because you need a heat press or an iron to put it on. The vinyl needs heat and pressure to adhere to the fabric. I always use my iron because I don’t use it enough to justify buying a heat press. I feel like the iron has worked great for the projects I have done!

I always put a towel down on my counter, turn my iron up to the cotton setting, lay down the item I want the vinyl on and then place the vinyl. I then use a scrap piece of cotton fabric over the top and then I put the iron down and push as hard as I can until the reccommended amount of time passes.

When you cut HTV, you have to mirror the image in Silhouette Studio before you cut. When you get your HTV, it can be hard to tell which side to cut! The shiny side is the side that goes down when you cut and the matte side goes up. The machine will cut through the colored layer and leave a clear, sticky transfer tape after you weed it. If you can’t tell which side to cut, you can peel the corner to see which side is colored and which one is the clear transfer side.

HTV comes in prints, glitter, metallic, flocked, and stretch. Glitter is my favorite type to use because it’s so cute!

Where to buy vinyl?

My favorite online place to buy vinyl is Amazon! I look for Oracal brand for adhesive vinyl, and Siser for HTV.

When I am doing a quick project, or I want to color match something, I always go to Joann Fabric for vinyl! They have an amazing selection and their Joann brand vinyl works really well and is a great deal!
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1 thought on “Types of Vinyl- What kind of Vinyl do I need for my Project?”

  1. Thanks for sharing so many fun projects and hints. Congratulations on a successful first year.

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